PURPOSE In this article we present the results of mixed-beam, photon/neutron radiation therapy in 45 patients with locally advanced, bulky, or postoperative recurrent prostate cancer treated at the University of Chicago between 1978 and 1991. Survival, disease-free survival, local control, and long-term complications are analyzed in detail. METHODS AND MATERIALS Between 1978 and 1991, 45 patients with locally advanced (> 5 cm State B2, Stage C, or Stage D1) prostate cancer underwent mixed-beam (photon/neutron) radiation therapy. Forty percent of the treatment was delivered with neutron irradiation at either the University of Chicago or Fermilab. Sixty percent of treatment was delivered with photons at the University of Chicago. Initially, the whole pelvis was irradiated to 50 photon Gy equivalent. This was followed by a boost to the prostate for an additional 20 photon Gy equivalent. RESULTS The median follow-up for patients in this series is 72 months. The overall 5-year actuarial survival was 72%, and the 5-year disease-free survival was 45%. Thus far, 18 patients have died. Eleven patients have died from prostate cancer and 7 from other medical illness. Twenty-seven patients are alive, and 12 of these patients have recurrent and or metastatic disease. The local control rate was 89% (40 out of 45). Histologic material was available on 18 patients following treatment (i.e., prostate biopsy in 16 patients and autopsy in 2 patients) and was negative for carcinoma in 13 (72%). Significant Grade 3-5 complications occurred in 36% (16 out of 45) of the patients treated with mixed-beam radiation therapy and were related to dose and beam quality. Factors related to survival, disease-free survival, local control, and complications are analyzed. CONCLUSIONS The survival and local control results of mixed-beam radiation therapy at the University of Chicago appear to be superior to those series using photon radiation in patients with locally advanced prostate carcinoma. Mixed-beam radiation therapy should remain an alternative to studies using dose escalation or implant techniques as a method to increase local control and survival at institutions with this capability. However, appropriate plans with high-energy neutrons are necessary to minimize complications.